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Facebook Loses 🔽 Daily Users For The First Time in History
For the first time, the global daily active users of the social media platform Facebook has declined slightly.
The Meta-owned platform registered 1.929 billion daily users in Q4 2021, from 1.930 billion in the previous quarter.
Throughout its 18-year old history, the company has only known growth; however, the social media giant reported its first-ever quarterly fall in daily users globally.
In addition, Facebook also reported lower ad growth that sent the stock of Meta plummeting by nearly 20%.
The company blamed Apple’s privacy changes to its operating system that has made it difficult for brands to target and measure their ads on Facebook.
Moreover, it also noted macroeconomic issues like supply-chain disruptions for the loss in daily active users.
Facebook, which also faces severe competition from platforms like Google’s YouTube and TikTok said, it expected slowing revenue growth because of growing competition and a shift in social media engagement trend towards features like short video offering Reels, which doesn’t generate heavy revenue.
Money Laundering 💸 Through NFTs is Growing, Says Chainalysis Report
According to a report by Blockchain data platform Chainalysis, money laundering through NFT transactions is seen to be a growing sector.
The report says that a small but growing share of buying and selling of NFTs could be attributed to money laundering, where cybercriminals use illegal money in NFT transactions.
In Q3 2021, funds sent to NFT marketplaces by illicit addresses surpassed $1 million worth of cryptocurrency, Chainalysis said in its report.
Meanwhile, in the fourth quarter of 2021, that amount grew again, hitting just below $1.4 million.
“All of this activity represents a drop in the bucket compared to the $8.6 billion worth of cryptocurrency-based money laundering we tracked in all of 2021,” said Chainalysis.
“Nevertheless, money laundering, and in particular transfers from sanctioned cryptocurrency businesses, represents a large risk to building trust in NFTs, and should be monitored more closely by marketplaces, regulators, and law enforcement,” added the report.
The report also notes a growth in wash trading, in which NFT owners sell an NFT to addresses that were self-financed and creating a false impression of value.
Travel Experiences Startup Headout Secures $30 Million 💰 in Series B
Headout, a curated travel experiences startup, has raised $30 million in its Series B funding round. The funding was led by existing investor Glade Brook Capital.
The round also saw participation from existing investors Nexus Venture Partners, FJ Labs, and 500 Startups, in addition to a bunch of startup founders and operators including, Postman CTO Ankit Sobti, Swiggy CEO Sriharsha Majety, and Pratilipi CEO Ranjeet Pratap Singh among others.
Founded in 2014, Headout is a New York-based on-demand mobile marketplace that helps travelers discover and book the most incredible tours, activities, events, and local experiences in a specific location at discounted prices.
The startup operates a managed marketplace in which it actively curates the services and standardizes them to ensure consistent quality.
Through this approach, the company aims to deliver a higher conversion rate than the existing aggregators.
Headout will use the fresh funds to expand its presence to 500 cities in the next two years, roll out new verticals for domestic short-haul travel, and also develop new products to make real-life experiences affordable.
Hackers Steal Over $300 Million 🚨 From Wormhole Token Bridge 🌉 Platform
Wormhole, a token bridge between Ethereum and Solana, has experienced a security breach, resulting in a loss of 120,000 wETH tokens. The value is estimated to be about $321 million.
The hacker exploited a bug on the platform to mint 120,000 wETH from the Solana blockchain and then redeemed 93,750 wETH with ETH on the Ethereum network. Further, the hacker swapped the remaining wETH tokens with SOL and USDC.
“The wormhole network was exploited for 120k wETH. ETH will be added over the next hours to ensure wETH is backed 1:1. More details to come shortly. We are working to get the network back up quickly. Thanks for your patience,” said Wormhole in a Twitter post.
From the beginning of 2022, several cross-chain platforms have been compromised by hackers, raising questions about the fundamental security limits of bridges.
The hack suffered by Wormhole is the second-largest DeFi attack to date and the largest crypto hack of this year so far. The wormhole platform has offered a bug bounty of $10 million for returning the funds.
Around the Web 🌐
EU Labels Nuclear Power And Natural Gas as Green Investments: In a controversial move, the European Commission has decided to label natural gas and nuclear energy plants as green investments if they can meet certain targets. However, the current proposal has led to a backlash from green activists and organizations.
Waldo Raises $15 Million in Series A Funding: Waldo, a New York-based no-code test automation platform dedicated to mobile apps, has raised $15 million in its series A funding round. The funding was led by Insight Partners, with participation from existing investors Matrix Partners and First Round Capital, and new angel investors Nicolas Dessaigne, Ben Porterfield, Tyler Gaffney, and Keenan Rice.
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