Future of Crypto | Edition #18 – May 2022
We’re back at it again to make your weekend read a delightful one with a new edition of the Future of Crypto Newsletter! If you're new and intrigued, read on to satisfy your curious taste buds and join other crypto nerds in receiving some fresh Weekly Crypto Cuppa, delivered right to your inbox every Saturday! ☕️
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What’s brimming? Ethereum is set to undergo a historic upgrade in the coming days as it completes its first big dress rehearsal for a long-awaited makeover.
Additionally, we bring you the week’s Top 10 Crypto News Stories as an accompaniment to your zesty Crypto cuppa:
Let's get down to business then 😎
A range of intriguing headlines, including product launches, made for quite the stir in Edition #18. The Metaverse segment took the crown as the most dynamic theme of the week.
Here’s the TL;DR:
PayPal lets users move coins to other wallets and exchanges.
Solana commits $100M to support South Korean crypto projects.
Crypto.com's Cronos launches $100M accelerator for DeFi and Web3.
NFTICALLY launches metaverse for e-commerce that doesn’t need crypto.
Timberland enters the Metaverse in partnership with Epic Games’ Unreal Engine.
For the longer read, let’s get going —
The CBDC segment was bustling with regulatory undertakings from several countries around the globe.
In Asia, China’s Chongqing district launched a digital yuan tax payment pilot that allows taxpayers to make their tax payments in the digital yuan CBDC. Bank of Japan found that some CBDC designs encountered bottlenecks in dealing with high transaction volumes during the test. In discussion with the IMF, the RBI governor reflected an anti-crypto stance as he spoke about India’s potential to disrupt the crypto and blockchain ecosystem, saying CBDCs could kill private cryptocurrencies. In the Caribbean, the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) gave the authority to issue In CBDC as legal tender locally with the Senate’s passage of the Bank of Jamaica (Amendment) Act, 2022. In Europe, the Centre for European Reform (CER) asked why central banks are pursuing CBDC stating that the EU should not be distracted by the prospect of a digital euro.
The Crypto-coins vertical has witnessed several product launches, with companies worldwide embracing various cryptocurrencies within their current portfolios.
CoinSwitch launched the Crypto Rupee Index (CRE8) to measure the performance of the Indian Rupee-based crypto market by tracking the performance of eight crypto assets that represent over 85% of the total market capitalization of cryptos traded in the Indian Rupee. Solana grabbed the headlines after it plans to pump up to $100M into South Korean crypto startups as it looks to penetrate a developer market still reeling from last month’s Terra ecosystem collapse. Solana Ventures and the Solana Foundation will seed invest across all web3 verticals. Crypto.com’s Cronos announced the launch of a $100M accelerator program to fast-track advancements across the DeFi, web3, and metaverse space, among others.
On the partnerships front, Crypto startup Ledger teamed up with Cathay Innovation to launch $110M sector fund called Ledger Cathay Capital that will invest in seed to series A companies across a broad variety of segments across the crypto landscape, including emerging DeFi, security, and infrastructure. Global brokerage company BGC Partners (BGCP) was also in the news after it plans to build a cryptocurrency exchange and launch it by the end of 2022 or the first quarter of 2023.
In other news, PayPal finally allowed cryptocurrency holders to transfer their digital assets off its platform to other wallets and exchanges. Indonesian cryptocurrency exchange Pintu has raised $113M in a Series B funding round with investments from venture capital firms Intudo Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Pantera Capital to build out new features, including additionally supported tokens and blockchains and products. While Binance was in the news as US regulators are investigating whether Binance Holdings Ltd. broke securities rules by selling digital tokens just as the crypto exchange was getting off the ground five years ago, Litecoin was delisted on Bithumb and Upbit, two South Korean Crypto exchanges, over modifications made to the coin that enable greater privacy when conducting transactions.
The Stablecoin segment was a witness to different regulatory activities.
USDC stablecoin issuer Circle announced that the project is now supported on the Polygon network.
Tron, which debuted the USDD algorithmic stablecoin last month, was in the news as it looks to avoid the trouble its fellow token TerraUSD ran into by boosting transparency and adding collateral.
Japan approved a bill to recognize and legalize stablecoins, defining them as digital money.
The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) released first-of-its-kind regulatory guidance for entities issuing US dollar-backed stablecoins.
Tether announced the launch of USDT on the Tezos blockchain, thus expanding the number of networks supporting the asset to 12.
Several innovative launches surrounding the NFT space created quite the buzz that turned heads last week, with significant players entering the emerging sphere.
Alibaba Cloud announced the launch of its service that would assist in the rapid and dependable development of NFT marketplaces while avoiding compliance issues.
SquirrelVerse, announced the launch of a curated NFT commerce platform Metascreen for showcasing unique NFTs as a movie ticket.
Cardano NFT marketplace EGO.com was in the news as it plans to launch its beta version in June 2022.
Hong Kong wine importer and distributor Grand Cru Cellar (GCC) announced plans to enter into the Non-fungible token (NFT) space, making it the first wine distributor in Asia to offer a wine NFT.
Salesforce unveiled its NFT Cloud to enable brands to mint, manage and sell NFTs via the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform.
On the other hand, the English Premier League (EPL) filed two cryptocurrency and NFT trademarks in the US as it is gearing up to expand its brand into the digital scene. YG Entertainment of KPOP announced a collaboration with an NFT Community of Zombies named Zombies Culture Club (ZCC). While Parcel announced the closing of a $4M seed round led by Framework Ventures to continue developing and expanding Parcel’s product suite, including a comprehensive creative directory known as the Creatorverse, Ethereum-based game Illuvium sold over $72 million worth of NFT digital land plots as NFTs during a sale.
The DeFi segment had an assorted mix of partnerships and regulatory initiatives that made for an eventful scoop.
While Terra’s DeFi platform Anchor Protocol proposed freezing Anchor Earn and borrowing functions to protect it from attacks, DeFi platform Cake DeFi announced that it had received a cryptocurrency license from the Registrar of Legal Entities of Lithuania.
On the partnerships front, DeFi protocol Masa Finance announced that it is partnering with African financial data company Pngme to drive the adoption of DeFi credit services in the region. Similarly, Encentive integrated its web 3 operating system with Alchemy Pay to enable Encentive module builders and end-users to accept fiat and crypto payments on the Encentive platform.
Skolem Technologies raised $20M in Series A funding led by Galaxy Digital to build its team, as well as scale the platform’s capabilities to grow the DeFi market.
Numerous partnership rounds and product launches served to be the key highlights of the expanding metaverse industry.
Bin Zayed Group entered into a partnership with Caduceus to bring a Twin city experience into the metaverse, which will use VR technology to bring the city of Dubai into people’s homes, offering up all the city’s delights from its renowned shopping malls to its theme parks, and theater shows to the many famous cultural attractions it hosts.
Klaytn Foundation forged key strategic partnerships and collaborations with Parity Technologies, Adgorithmics, Adgorithmics, Adgorithmics, and Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN) for a Metaverse-as-a-Service model, which will allow Web2 companies, game publishers, content creators, and other users to plug-in seamlessly into the metaverse.
American fashion retailer Forever21 also collaborated with the global toy brand Barbie for a limited edition collection which will be available simultaneously in-store, online, and in metaverse on Forever21 shop city on Roblox.
Timberland unveiled a one-of-a-kind design innovation experience in partnership with Epic Games’ Unreal Engine that blends the physical and virtual worlds to reimagine product design and engage consumers in the journey.
Similarly, CarzSo announced plans to build an NFT-based parcel of lands for launching an auto industry-focused metaverse in partnerships with blockchain technologies.
In terms of various product launches:
Media agency Horizon Media announced the launch of two industry units, Chapter & Verse, dedicated to the metaverse, web3, NFTs, blockchain, cryptocurrency, DAO communities, and all other related facets.
MG Motors also jumped on the metaverse bandwagon with a virtual experience platform called MG Verse, where customers will be provided a virtual car buying experience with assistance from a 3D avatar.
NFT marketplace creator NFTICALLY announced the launch of the world’s first e-commerce metaverse ecosystem Comearth, which will work without crypto. Businesses and individuals planning to open their own stores in the metaverse would be able to use this platform.
Shiba metaverse also hit the bulletins after its plans to launch a rewards system for the Shib Inu landholders.
What’s more ━ digital solutions provider Kiya.ai announced the launch of Kiyaverse, a banking metaverse platform. that aims to enable customers to use their personalized avatars on digital banking units, mobiles, laptops, VR headsets, and mixed reality environments. VR firm STEPVR released VR Gates to the metaverse called Gates01 in Beijing, which will allow users to enter the virtual world for sports, entertainment, education, and work.
The DLT vertical witnessed an assorted range of activities that made some attention-grabbing headlines last week.
Vietnam Blockchain Association and Binance officially announced their cooperation on the exchange of research/application of Blockchain Technology and Human Resource Training in Vietnam to promote the development of blockchain technology in Vietnam and build a bridge with other significant technology corporations around the world.
Blockchain trade finance startup LiquidX announced unspecified strategic funding in which Citi became a new investor. Citi will also LiquidX to help their clients to improve working capital efficiency and provide them with seamless access to a range of other services offered by Citi to institutional clients.
MonetaGo ditched blockchain for a shift to the cloud after almost a decade of using distributed ledger technology for its trade finance fraud prevention product, citing scalability, adoption, lack of in-house expertise, varying international regulatory comfort levels, and technological maturity issues.
Gaming studio SuperTeam Games raised $10 million in its first funding round led by Griffin Gaming Partners to launch a blockchain-based sports game.
But wait, there’s more ━ wholesale travel company HelloVacay announced a blockchain-based travel reward platform that rewards user engagement with a tokenized platform giving travelers access to private, discounted hotels and resorts. Blockchain-based trade finance platform we.trade was also in the reportage as it is shutting down and is expected to appoint PwC as liquidator.
And that's a wrap 👋
We hope you enjoyed this edition of the Weekly Crypto Cuppa, and we'll be back with more next week!
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