Perhaps the biggest news of the second week of January is that Ethereum Classic (ETC) attackers returned $100,000 to the exchange. The Ethereum fork was the victim of a 51% attack, where one part controls the majority of the network's computing power. On Wednesday reported that attackers transferred 54,200 ETC during the hack. On Monday, Coinbase identified numerous double spends on the Ethereum Classic network. Ethereum Classic developers alerted the community and blamed selfish mining. It seems plausible that the attackers were not malicious but white hat hackers wanted to warn users about the risks of blockchain consensus.

Monerium successfully raised $2 million in a seed funding round to finance initial software development. The Icelandic blockchain startup raised capital from Ethereum (ETH) venture studio ConsenSys, Crowberry Capital, and Hof Holdings. Monerium was founded in 2016 and is led by Jon Helgi Egilsson, former chair of the Central Bank of Iceland. The startup wants to develop a mechanism to transact fiat currencies over blockchains, called "e-money." Monerium is working on being a licensed financial institution in the European Union in order to move on to asset management and product development. Its mission is to make blockchain technology more useful and relevant to banks and small businesses.

CNBC reports that the future of blockchain could be security tokens. On Monday, the Estonia-based startup DX.Exchange launched a trading platform that allows users to buy stock in popular tech firms like Apple (AAPL  ), Tesla (TSLA  ), Facebook (FB  ), and Netflix (NFLX  ) through security tokens. The tokens represent shares, with each token supposedly backed by one share. DX.Exchange aims to allow easier equity trading and extended market hours. However, some experts question if the practice is compliant, as shareholders of the companies have not consented to shares being tokenized. DX states that their security tokens are classified as derivatives and thus legally sound. Security token advocates believe that most financial markets will be tokenized in the next decade.

Crypto prices cratered this week to $117 billion, January's low. The majors were hit hard; Bitcoin (BTC) fell from above $4,000 to around $3,500, and Ethereum (ETH) from $155 to $114. In the top 100, the biggest losers are Nasdacoin (NSD), down 47%, FLO (FLO), down 29%, and Bitcoin Private (BTCP), down 27%. The biggest gainers are Timicoin (TMC), up 111%, HyperCash (HC), up 40%, and Boolberry (BBR), up 34%. After a relatively tranquil two weeks, it seems crypto has entered another stage of volatility.

The author owns a small long position in AAPL and BTC.