How to make a >800 million dollars in crypto attacking the once 3rd largest stablecoin, Soros style
Everyone is talking about the $UST attack right now, including Janet Yellen. But no one is talking about how much money the attacker made (or how brilliant it was). Lets dig in.
Our story starts in late March, when the Luna Foundation Guard (or LFG) starts buying BTC to help back $UST. LFG started accumulating BTC on 3/22, and by March 26th had a $1bn+ BTC position. This is leg #1 that made this trade (or attack) brilliant.
The second leg comes in the form of the 4pool Frax announcement for $UST on April 1st. This added the second leg needed to help execute the strategy in a capital efficient way (liquidity will be lower and then the attack is on).
We don't know when the attacker borrowed 100k BTC to start the position, other than that it was sold into Kwon's buying (still speculation). LFG bought 15k BTC between March 27th and April 11th, so lets just take the average price between these dates ($42k).
So you have a ~$4.2bn short position built. Over the same time, the attacker builds a $1bn OTC position in $UST. The stage is now set to create a run on the bank and get paid on your BTC short. In anticipation of the 4pool, LFG initially removes $150mm from 3pool liquidity.
The liquidity was pulled on 5/8 and then the attacker uses $350mm of UST to drain curve liquidity (and LFG pulls another $100mm of liquidity).
But this only starts the de-pegging (down to 0.972 at the lows). LFG begins selling $BTC to defend the peg, causing downward pressure on BTC while the run on $UST was just getting started.
With the Curve liquidity drained, the attacker used the remainder of their $1b OTC $UST position ($650mm or so) to start offloading on Binance. As withdrawals from Anchor turned from concern into panic, this caused a real de-peg as people fled for the exits
So LFG is selling $BTC to restore the peg while the attacker is selling $UST on Binance. Eventually the chain gets congested and the CEXs suspend withdrawals of $UST, fueling the bank run panic. $UST de-pegs to 60c at the bottom, while $BTC bleeds out.
The crypto community panics as they wonder how much $BTC will be sold to keep the peg. There are liquidations across the board and LUNA pukes because of its redemption mechanism (the attacker very well could have shorted LUNA as well). BTC fell 25% from $42k on 4/11 to $31.3k
So how much did our attacker make? There aren't details on where they covered obviously, but if they are able to cover (or buy back) the entire position at ~$32k, that means they made $952mm on the short.
On the $350mm of $UST curve dumps I don't think they took much of a loss, lets assume 3% or just $11m. And lets assume that all the Binance dumps were done at 80c, thats another $125mm cost of doing business. For a grand total profit of $815mm (bf borrow cost).
BTC was the perfect playground for the trade, as the liquidity was there to pull it off. While having LFG involved in BTC, and foreseeing they would sell to keep the peg (and prevent LUNA from dying) was the kicker.
Lastly, the liquidity being low on 3pool in advance of 4pool allowed the attacker to drain it with only $350mm, causing the broader panic in both BTC and $UST. Any shorts on LUNA would've added a lot of P&L here as well, with it falling -65% since 5/7.
And for the reply guys, yes I know a lot of this involves some speculation & assumptions. But a lot of money was made here either way, and I thought it would be cool to dive into how they did it.
More on Web3 & Crypto
1 year ago
Web3 Terminology You Should Know
The easiest online explanation.
Web3 is growing. Crypto companies are growing.
Instagram, Adidas, and Stripe adopted cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies made web3 famous.
Most don't know where to start. Cryptocurrency, DeFi, etc. are investments.
Since we don't understand web3, I'll help you today.
It is the third generation of the web, and it is built on the decentralization idea which means no one can control it.
There are static webpages that we can only read on the first generation of the web (i.e. Web 1.0).
Web 2.0 websites are interactive. Twitter, Medium, and YouTube.
Each generation controlled the website owner. Simply put, the owner can block us. However, data breaches and selling user data to other companies are issues.
They can influence the audience's mind since they have control.
Assume Twitter's CEO endorses Donald Trump. Result? Twitter would have promoted Donald Trump with tweets and graphics, enhancing his chances of winning.
We need a decentralized, uncontrollable system.
And then there’s Web3.0 to consider. As Bitcoin and Ethereum values climb, so has its popularity. Web3.0 is uncontrolled web evolution. It's good and bad.
Dapps, DeFi, and DAOs are here. It'll all be explained afterwards.
No need to elaborate.
Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, and Dogecoin are cryptocurrencies. It's digital money used for payments and other uses.
Programs must interact with cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain facilitates bitcoin transactions, investments, and earnings.
This technology governs Web3. It underpins the web3 environment.
Let us delve much deeper.
Blockchain is simple. However, the name expresses the meaning.
Blockchain is a chain of blocks.
Let's use an image if you don't understand.
The graphic above explains blockchain. Think Blockchain. The block stores related data.
4. Smart contracts
Programmers and developers must write programs. Smart contracts are these blockchain apps.
Decentralized web3.0 requires immutable smart contracts or programs.
Blockchain art is NFT. Non-Fungible Tokens.
Explaining Non-Fungible Token may help.
Two sorts of tokens:
These tokens are fungible, meaning they can be changed. Think of Bitcoin or cash. The token won't change if you sell one Bitcoin and acquire another.
Non-Fungible Token: Since these tokens cannot be exchanged, they are exclusive. For instance, music, painting, and so forth.
Right now, Companies and even individuals are currently developing worthless NFTs.
The concept of NFTs is much improved when properly handled.
Decentralized apps are Dapps. Instagram, Twitter, and Medium apps in the same way that there is a lot of decentralized blockchain app.
Curve, Yearn Finance, OpenSea, Axie Infinity, etc. are dapps.
DAOs are member-owned and governed.
Consider it a company with a core group of contributors.
We all utilize centrally regulated financial services. We fund these banks.
If you have $10,000 in your bank account, the bank can invest it and retain the majority of the profits.
We only get a penny back. Some banks offer poor returns. To secure a loan, we must trust the bank, divulge our information, and fill out lots of paperwork.
DeFi was built for such issues.
Decentralized banks are uncontrolled. Staking, liquidity, yield farming, and more can earn you money.
Web3 beginners should start with these resources.
1 year ago
4 typical methods of crypto market manipulation
Due to its decentralized and fragmented character, the crypto market has integrity difficulties.
Cryptocurrencies are an immature sector, therefore market manipulation becomes a bigger issue. Many research have attempted to uncover these abuses. CryptoCompare's newest one highlights some of the industry's most typical scams.
Why are these concerns so common in the crypto market? First, even the largest centralized exchanges remain unregulated due to industry immaturity. A low-liquidity market segment makes an attack more harmful. Finally, market surveillance solutions not implemented reduce transparency.
In CryptoCompare's latest exchange benchmark, 62.4% of assessed exchanges had a market surveillance system, although only 18.1% utilised an external solution. To address market integrity, this measure must improve dramatically. Before discussing the report's malpractices, note that this is not a full list of attacks and hacks.
An investor buys and sells concurrently to increase the asset's price. Centralized and decentralized exchanges show this misconduct. 23 exchanges have a volume-volatility correlation < 0.1 during the previous 100 days, according to CryptoCompares. In August 2022, Exchange A reported $2.5 trillion in artificial and/or erroneous volume, up from $33.8 billion the month before.
Criminals create and cancel fake orders before they can be filled. Since manipulators can hide in larger trading volumes, larger exchanges have more spoofing. A trader placed a 20.8 BTC ask order at $19,036 when BTC was trading at $19,043. BTC declined 0.13% to $19,018 in a minute. At 18:48, the trader canceled the ask order without filling it.
Most cryptocurrency front-running involves inside trading. Traditional stock markets forbid this. Since most digital asset information is public, this is harder. Retailers could utilize bots to front-run.
CryptoCompare found digital wallets of people who traded like insiders on exchange listings. The figure below shows excess cumulative anomalous returns (CAR) before a coin listing on an exchange.
Finally, LAYERING is a sequence of spoofs in which successive orders are put along a ladder of greater (layering offers) or lower (layering bids) values. The paper concludes with recommendations to mitigate market manipulation. Exchange data transparency, market surveillance, and regulatory oversight could reduce manipulative tactics.
10 months ago
What the World's Most Intelligent Investor Recently Said About Crypto
Cryptoshit. This thing is crazy to buy.
Charlie Munger is revered and powerful in finance.
Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, is noted for his wit, no-nonsense attitude to investment, and ability to spot promising firms and markets.
Munger's crypto views have upset some despite his reputation as a straight shooter.
“There’s only one correct answer for intelligent people, just totally avoid all the people that are promoting it.” — Charlie Munger
The Munger Interview on CNBC (4:48 secs)
This Monday, CNBC co-anchor Rebecca Quick interviewed Munger and brought up his 2007 statement, "I'm not allowed to have an opinion on this subject until I can present the arguments against my viewpoint better than the folks who are supporting it."
Great investing and life advice!
If you can't explain the opposing reasons, you're not informed enough to have an opinion.
In today's world, it's important to grasp both sides of a debate before supporting one.
Does your Wall Street Journal article on banning cryptocurrency apply? If so, would you like to present the counterarguments?
I don't see any viable counterarguments. I think my opponents are idiots, hence there is no sensible argument against my position.
Consider his words.
Do you believe Munger has studied both sides?
He said, "I assume my opponents are idiots, thus there is no sensible argument against my position."
This is worrisome, especially from a guy who once encouraged studying both sides before forming an opinion.
National currencies have benefitted humanity more than almost anything else.
Hang on, I think we located the perpetrator.
Munger thinks crypto will replace currencies.
I doubt he studied cryptocurrencies because the name is deceptive.
He misread a headline as a Dollar destroyer.
Cryptocurrencies are speculations.
Like Tesla, Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc.
Crypto won't replace dollars.
In the interview with CNBC, Munger continued:
“I’m not proud of my country for allowing this crap, what I call the cryptoshit. It’s worthless, it’s no good, it’s crazy, it’ll do nothing but harm, it’s anti-social to allow it.” — Charlie Munger
Not entirely inaccurate.
Daily cryptos are established solely to pump and dump regular investors.
Let's get into Munger's crypto aversion.
Rat poison is bitcoin.
Munger famously dubbed Bitcoin rat poison and a speculative bubble that would implode.
But the bubble broke. Since 2021, the market has fallen.
Scam currencies and NFTs are being eliminated, which I like.
Why does Munger doubt crypto?
Mungers thinks cryptocurrencies has no intrinsic value.
He worries about crypto fraud and money laundering.
Both are valid issues.
Yet grouping crypto is intellectually dishonest.
Ethereum, Bitcoin, Solana, Chainlink, Flow, and Dogecoin have different purposes and values (not saying they’re all good investments).
Fraudsters who hurt innocents will be punished.
Therefore, complaining is useless.
Why not stop it? Repair rather than complain.
Regrettably, individuals today don't offer solutions.
Blind Areas for Mungers
As with everyone, Mungers' bitcoin views may be impacted by his biases and experiences.
But Munger has always advocated classic value investing and may be wary of investing in an asset outside his expertise.
Mungers' banking and insurance investments may influence his bitcoin views.
Could a coworker or acquaintance have told him crypto is bad and goes against traditional finance?
Do you respect Charlie Mungers?
Yes and no, like any investor or individual.
To understand Mungers' bitcoin beliefs, you must be critical.
Mungers is a successful investor, but his views about bitcoin should be considered alongside other viewpoints.
Munger’s success as an investor has made him an influencer in the space.
Influence gives power.
He controls people's thoughts.
Munger's ok. He will always be heard.
I'll do so cautiously.
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1 year ago
Why Is It So Difficult to Give Up Smoking?
I started smoking in 2002 at IIT BHU. Most of us thought it was enjoyable at first. I didn't realize the cost later.
In 2005, during my final semester, I lost my father. Suddenly, I felt more accountable for my mother and myself.
I quit before starting my first job in Bangalore. I didn't see any smoking friends in my hometown for 2 months before moving to Bangalore.
For the next 5-6 years, I had no regimen and smoked only when drinking.
Due to personal concerns, I started smoking again after my 2011 marriage. Now smoking was a constant guilty pleasure.
I smoked 3-4 cigarettes a day, but never in front of my family or on weekends. I used to excuse this with pride! First office ritual: smoking. Even with guilt, I couldn't stop this time because of personal concerns.
After 8-9 years, in mid 2019, a personal development program solved all my problems. I felt complete in myself. After this, I just needed one cigarette each day.
The hardest thing was leaving this final cigarette behind, even though I didn't want it.
James Clear's Atomic Habits was published last year. I'd only read 2-3 non-tech books before reading this one in August 2021. I knew everything but couldn't use it.
In April 2022, I realized the compounding effect of a bad habit thanks to my subconscious mind. 1 cigarette per day (excluding weekends) equals 240 = 24 packs per year, which is a lot. No matter how much I did, it felt negative.
Then I applied the 2nd principle of this book, identifying the trigger. I tried to identify all the major triggers of smoking. I found social drinking is one of them & If I am able to control it during that time, I can easily control it in other situations as well. Going further whenever I drank, I was pre-determined to ignore the craving at any cost. Believe me, it was very hard initially but gradually this craving started fading away even with drinks.
I've been smoke-free for 3 months. Now I know a bad habit's effects. After realizing the power of habits, I'm developing other good habits which I ignored all my life.
Dr Mehmet Yildiz
1 year ago
How I train my brain daily for clarity and productivity.
I use a conceptual and practical system I developed decades ago as an example.
Since childhood, I've been interested in the brain-mind connection, so I developed a system using scientific breakthroughs, experiments, and the experiences of successful people in my circles.
This story provides a high-level overview of a custom system to inform and inspire readers. Creating a mind gym was one of my best personal and professional investments.
Such a complex system may not be possible for everyone or appear luxurious at first. However, the process and approach may help you find more accessible and viable solutions.
Visualizing the brain as a muscle, I learned to stimulate it with physical and mental exercises, applying a new mindset and behavioral changes.
My methods and practices may not work for others because we're all different. I focus on the approach's principles and highlights so you can create your own program.
Some create a conceptual and practical system intuitively, and others intellectually. Both worked. I see intellect and intuition as higher selves.
The mental tools I introduce are based on lifestyle changes and can be personalized by anyone, barring physical constraints or underlying health conditions.
Some people can't meditate despite wanting to due to mental constraints. This story lacks exceptions.
People's systems may vary. Many have used my tools successfully. All have scientific backing because their benefits attracted scientists. None are unethical or controversial.
My focus is cognition, which is the neocortex's ability. These practices and tools can affect the limbic and reptilian brain regions.
A previous article discussed brain health's biological aspects. This article focuses on psychology.
Thinking, learning, and remembering are cognitive abilities. Cognitive abilities determine our health and performance.
Cognitive health is the ability to think, concentrate, learn, and remember. Cognitive performance boosting involves various tools and processes. My system and protocols address cognitive health and performance.
As a biological organ, the brain's abilities decline with age, especially if not used regularly. Older people have more neurodegenerative disorders like dementia.
As aging is inevitable, I focus on creating cognitive reserves to remain mentally functional as we age and face mental decline or cognitive impairment.
My protocols focus on neurogenesis, or brain growth and maintenance. Neurons and connections can grow at any age.
Metacognition refers to knowing our cognitive abilities, like thinking about thinking and learning how to learn.
In the following sections, I provide an overview of my system, mental tools, and protocols.
This system summarizes my 50-year career. Some may find it too abstract, so I give examples.
First, explain the system. Section 2 introduces activities. Third, how to measure and maintain mental growth.
1 — Developed a practical mental gym.
The mental gym is a metaphor for the physical fitness gym to improve our mental muscles.
This concept covers brain and mind functionality. Integrated biological and psychological components.
I'll describe my mental gym so my other points make sense. My mental gym has physical and mental tools.
Mindfulness, meditation, visualization, self-conversations, breathing exercises, expressive writing, working in a flow state, reading, music, dance, isometric training, barefoot walking, cold/heat exposure, CBT, and social engagements are regular tools.
Dancing, walking, and thermogenesis are body-related tools. As the brain is part of the body and houses the mind, these tools can affect mental abilities such as attention, focus, memory, task switching, and problem-solving.
Different people may like different tools. I chose these tools based on my needs, goals, and lifestyle. They're just examples. You can choose tools that fit your goals and personality.
2 — Performed tasks regularly.
These tools gave me clarity. They became daily hobbies. Some I did alone, others with others.
Some examples: I meditate daily. Even though my overactive mind made daily meditation difficult at first, I now enjoy it. Meditation three times a day sharpens my mind.
Self-talk is used for self-therapy and creativity. Self-talk was initially difficult, but neurogenesis rewired my brain to make it a habit.
Cold showers, warm baths with Epsom salts, fasting, barefoot walks on the beach or grass, dancing, calisthenics, trampoline hopping, and breathing exercises increase my mental clarity, creativity, and productivity.
These exercises can increase BDNF, which promotes nervous system growth. They improve mental capacity and performance by increasing blood flow and brain oxygenation.
I use weekly and occasional activities like dry saunas, talking with others, and community activities.
These activities stimulate the brain and mind, improving performance and cognitive capacity.
3 — Measured progress, set growth goals.
Measuring progress helps us stay on track. Without data, it's hard to stay motivated. When we face inevitable setbacks, we may abandon our dreams.
I created a daily checklist for a spreadsheet with macros. I tracked how often and long I did each activity.
I measured my progress objectively and subjectively. In the progress spreadsheet, I noted my meditation hours and subjective feelings.
In another column, I used good, moderate, and excellent to get qualitative data. It took time and effort. Later, I started benefiting from this automated structure.
Creating a page for each activity, such as meditation, self-talk, cold showers, walking, expressive writing, personal interactions, etc., gave me empirical data I could analyze, modify, and graph to show progress.
Colored charts showed each area's strengths and weaknesses.
Strengths motivate me to continue them. Identifying weaknesses helped me improve them.
As the system matured, data recording became a habit and took less time. I saw the result immediately because I automated the charts when I entered daily data. Early time investment paid off later.
Mind Gym Benefits, Effective Use, and Progress Measuring
This concept helped me move from comfort to risk. I accept things as they are.
Turnarounds were made. I stopped feeling "Fight-Flight-Freeze" and maintained self-control.
I tamed my overactive amygdala by strengthening my brain. Stress and anxiety decreased. With these shifts, I accepted criticism and turned envy into admiration. Clarity improved.
When the cognitive part of the brain became stronger and the primitive part was tamed, managing thoughts and emotions became easier. My AQ increased. I learned to tolerate people, physical, mental, and emotional obstacles.
Accessing vast information sources in my subconscious mind through an improved RAS allowed me to easily tap into my higher self and recognize flaws in my lower self.
The brain loves patterns and routines, so habits help. Observing, developing, and monitoring habits mindfully can be beneficial. Mindfulness helps us achieve this goal systematically.
As body and mind are connected, we must consider both when building habits. Consistent and joyful practices can strengthen neurons and neural connections.
Habits help us accomplish more with less effort. Regularly using mental tools and processes can improve our cognitive health and performance as we age.
Creating daily habits to improve cognitive abilities can sharpen our minds and boost our well-being.
Some apps monitor our activities and behavior to help build habits. If you can't replicate my system, try these apps. Some smartwatches and fitness devices include them.
Set aside time each day for mental activities you enjoy. Regular scheduling and practice can strengthen brain regions and form habits. Once you form habits, tasks become easy.
Improving our minds is a lifelong journey. It's easier and more sustainable to increase our efforts daily, weekly, monthly, or annually.
Despite life's ups and downs, many want to remain calm and cheerful.
This valuable skill is unrelated to wealth or fame. It's about our mindset, fueled by our biological and psychological needs.
Here are some lessons I've learned about staying calm and composed despite challenges and setbacks.
1 — Tranquillity starts with observing thoughts and feelings.
2 — Clear the mental clutter and emotional entanglements with conscious breathing and gentle movements.
3 — Accept situations and events as they are with no resistance.
4 — Self-love can lead to loving others and increasing compassion.
5 — Count your blessings and cultivate gratitude.
Clear thinking can bring joy and satisfaction. It's a privilege to wake up with a healthy body and clear mind, ready to connect with others and serve them.
Thank you for reading my perspectives. I wish you a healthy and happy life.
1 year ago
Wall Street's Bear Market May Stick Around
If history is any guide, this bear market might be long and severe.
This is the S&P 500 Index's fourth such incident in 20 years. The last bear market of 2020 was a "shock trade" caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, although earlier ones in 2000 and 2008 took longer to bottom out and recover.
Peter Garnry, head of equities strategy at Saxo Bank A/S, compares the current selloff to the dotcom bust of 2000 and the 1973-1974 bear market marked by soaring oil prices connected to an OPEC oil embargo. He blamed high tech valuations and the commodity crises.
"This drop might stretch over a year and reach 35%," Garnry wrote.
Here are six bear market charts.
The S&P 500 Index plummeted 51% between 2000 and 2002 and 58% during the global financial crisis; it took more than 1,000 trading days to recover. The former took 638 days to reach a bottom, while the latter took 352 days, suggesting the present selloff is young.
Before the tech bubble burst in 2000, valuations were high. The S&P 500's forward P/E was 25 times then. Before the market fell this year, ahead values were near 24. Before the global financial crisis, stocks were relatively inexpensive, but valuations dropped more than 40%, compared to less than 30% now.
Every stock crash, especially earlier bear markets, returned stocks to fundamentals. The S&P 500 decouples from earnings trends but eventually recouples.
Central banks won't support equity investors just now. The end of massive monetary easing will terminate a two-year bull run that was among the strongest ever, and equities may struggle without cheap money. After years of "don't fight the Fed," investors must embrace a new strategy.
Bear Haunting Bear
If the past is any indication, rising government bond yields are bad news. After the financial crisis, skyrocketing rates and a falling euro pushed European stock markets back into bear territory in 2011.
The current monetary policy climate differs from past bear markets. This is the first time in a while that markets face significant inflation and rising rates.
This post is a summary. Read full article here