bitcoin volatility, $196M Bitmart hack, new OpenSea CFO

The overall cryptocurrency market took a hit over the weekend.

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market value, plunged to a low near $43,000 on Saturday night. Its price has since bounced back and is currently trading at around $49,149, according to Coin Metrics.

On Saturday, ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency, also fell to around $3,500. Ether is currently trading at around $4,179.

Along with the volatility this weekend, here are seven things that happened in crypto this past week.

1. Metaverse land sales top $100 million in a week

Virtual real estate has increasingly become a hot commodity.

Sales of NFTs, or nonfungible tokens, representing metaverse land surpassed $100 million in the last week alone, crypto analytics firm DappRadar reported on Tuesday.

The Sandbox, an Ethereum-based metaverse and game where users can buy land and in-game assets as NFTs, had more than $86 million in trading volume. Decentraland, an Ethereum-powered virtual reality platform, had more than $15 million traded for land NFTs.

“Outputting record sales numbers and constantly increasing NFT prices, virtual worlds are the new top commodity in the crypto space,” DappRadar wrote in a blog post.

2. Jack Dorsey’s Square changes corporate name to Block

On Wednesday, Jack Dorsey’s payments company Square announced it is renaming itself Block, effective Dec. 10.

Block “has many associated meanings for the company — building blocks, neighborhood blocks and their local businesses, communities coming together at block parties full of music, a blockchain, a section of code, and obstacles to overcome,” Block said in a statement.

Square Crypto, a separate part of the company “dedicated to advancing bitcoin,” will change its name to Spiral.

“We built the Square brand for our seller business, which is where it belongs,” Dorsey, co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. “Block is a new name, but our purpose of economic empowerment remains the same. No matter how we grow or change, we will continue to build tools to help increase access to the economy.”

The rebranding came after Dorsey announced his departure as CEO of Twitter. Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal is taking over the role, the company said on Monday.

3. Facebook retreats from crypto ad ban

4. DeFi project BadgerDAO hacked, losing about $120 million

On Wednesday night, BadgerDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization focused on bridging bitcoin with decentralized finance applications, was reportedly hacked, losing about $120 million, according to blockchain security and data analytics firm Peckshield.

An investigation to determine what happened is still ongoing.

In the meantime, BadgerDAO froze all smart contracts, which are digital agreements written in code and stored on the blockchain. In turn, users remain unable to deposit, claim rewards or withdraw funds from the BadgerDAO application, according to its website.

This comes amid many recent DeFi-related hacks, which is why financial experts warn to thoroughly research before investing in projects. They recommend only investing what you can afford to lose.

5. Hackers take $196 million from crypto exchange Bitmart

Cryptocurrency exchange Bitmart was hacked, the company confirmed in a statement on Saturday night.

Calling it “a large-scale security breach,” Bitmart estimated that hackers withdrew about $150 million, but Peckshield estimates that the loss is closer to $200 million.

In the statement, Bitmart said that all withdrawals had been temporarily suspended and a security review was underway.

As of Sunday, CNBC reached out to multiple Bitmart employees, asking for more clarity on the hack and if those targeted would be reimbursed. CNBC has not yet heard back.

6. Charlie Munger says he wishes cryptocurrencies had ‘never been invented’

Billionaire investor Charlie Munger still isn’t a fan of cryptocurrency.

“I wish they’d never been invented,” Munger said at the Sohn conference in Sydney on Friday, according to The Australian Financial Review. “I admire the Chinese, I think they made the correct decision, which was to simply ban them.”

This isn’t a new stance for the 97-year-old vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. In May, during a Q&A session at Berkshire’s annual shareholder meeting, Munger said that his dislike for bitcoin increased amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

7. OpenSea hires former CFO of Lyft