Future of Crypto | Edition #21 – June 2022
Friday calls for some fun!
Greetings, fellow crypto geeks. Just in time for the weekend, we've got some bite-sized headlines you can munch on while sipping your favorite brew with the week's Future of Crypto newsletter. New to crypto? Fill your curiosity cup and join other Crypto Nerds in getting a Weekly Crypto Cuppa, delivered right to your mailbox every Friday! ☕️
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‘DeFi’ying Democracy: Did you know? A term called ‘51% rule’ in a blockchain attack happens when a malicious user in a network acquires control of a given blockchain's mining capabilities. It implies that the attackers will have more than 50% mining power and can mine faster than everyone else. The attackers can stop the confirmation and order of new transactions. Talk about democracy!
The cryptosphere seemed to be bouncing back as Edition #21 witnessed numerous launches and intriguing partnerships, with the NFT vertical making a clean sweep as the most active segment of the week.
Here’s the TL;DR:
The lines between the physical and the virtual continue to blur as industry players bring unique offerings to the metaverse. Siemens’ recent partnership with Nvidia to enable digital twin capabilities for the industrial metaverse is proving that by intersecting the unique combination of the AI realm for real-time.
China’s Tencent takes this a step further – creating its own metaverse-driven division, planning to produce both hardware and software products for the metaverse. SAP, on the other hand, pitched in with its initiative of accelerating cloud adoption to engage digital-first audiences by leveraging the metaverse. Meta also stands true to its name, having launched Meta Pay metaverse wallet to support value interaction.
New opportunities are equally being unlocked for the web 3 – with AdaSwap going live in public testnet, bringing a fresh wave of liquidity to the Cardano DeFi ecosystem. Linera’s $6M seed fund led by a16z to bring web 2 scalability to web 3 makes up for another key event in the space.
Putting the spotlight on NFTs, eBay filed two trademark applications covering a wide range of products and services relating to NFTs and the metaverse. eBay wasn’t the only one under the regulatory umbrella, as 3AC Crypto Hedge was ordered by a court in the British Virgin Islands to go into liquidation, a move that is expected to cause ripple effects in the industry. The NFT saga also paves its way into the field, with Binance signing a partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo to promote a series of collectibles for sale.
Deep-diving into the core structure, Polygon deployed scaling system Avail designed for developers with the ability to update, fork, and change how their blockchains handle execution. A handy tool for DeFi and game developers, this one is.
For the longer read, let’s get going —
The experimentations around the CBDC segment continue as more countries try to understand the width of its use-cases.
In the Middle East, the governor of the Central Bank of Iran announced its plans to launch a CBDC pilot in September in a single region, with the idea of further expansion. In Asia, Taiwan Central Bank completed the second phase of CBDC testing with plans to collect feedback from the trials, seeking to gain public support for the CBDC, refining its technology, and establishing regulations for the digital currency. In Europe, the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) expanded its trials for the digital ruble and is exploring more use cases for the CBDC, including for use in settlement of real estate deals.
In other news, Ripple announced a CBDC Innovate challenge that seeks to inspire programmers to build applications capable of running on the XRP Ledger and supporting retail CBDCs, interoperability, and financial inclusion. The prize pool is $197,000; the last date is expected to be August 25, 2022.
The Crypto-coins segment has all eyes on it after the recent liquidation crisis.
The European Union (EU) finalized crypto rules that aim to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing, among other crimes, by requiring crypto-assets service providers to collect and store information identifying people involved in cryptocurrency transactions and hand the information over to authorities that are conducting investigations. A British court ordered Three Arrows Capital (3AC) to liquidate after facing a financial crunch. India’s Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) also issued guidelines that mandate a deduction of 1% TDS on the transfer of crypto and other virtual digital assets, effective July 1, 2022.
As for the other affairs:
Layer Three Ventures announced a $30B web 3 crypto fund and accelerator that takes a customized approach to source, support, launch, and fund the next generation of successful web 3 startups.
The Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021), which is set to take place from 15 October to 19 November 2022, announced CoinEx as its official cryptocurrency trading platform partner.
Coinbase Global set sail overseas via expansion to fuel growth in new users and revenue, reviving an international push after laying off more than 1,000 of its predominantly US workforce.
Blockchain network TechPay Coin bagged an award for being the fastest blockchain with 300,000 TPS and 500 Milliseconds transaction Time-to-Finality. They received the award at Crypto Expo Asia 2022, which took place in Singapore.
The Stablecoins segment is still under scrutiny as regulatory bodies are exploring ways to minimize any future potential damage.
The European Union grabbed the headlines for its plans to ban cryptocurrency platforms from charging interest on stablecoin deposits and set high regulatory requirements for issuers of all types of stablecoins, with no exceptions being made for algorithmic ones. The President’s Working Group in the US announced that the government is working on stablecoin legislation with Congress that could become law by the end of 2022. DeFi protocol Flamingo announced that it is absorbing the Lyrebird stablecoin project, and plans to launch a new stablecoin tentatively called FUSD that will be modeled after MakerDAO’s DAI token, which uses over-collateralization of digital assets to ensure its peg is held to the US$1.
The NFT industry has been bustling with activity lately, brewing with a delightful bundle of new launches and partnership announcements for NFT fans to hear about.
British automotive company LotusCars ventured into the NFT landscape to launch its own collection of NFT. It partnered with XRPL, the Ripple Ledger, for technical support and NFT PRO for solutions related to the web 3 services. Following on another interesting news, National Hockey League (NHL) partnered with NFT platform Sweet in a multi-year deal to help the latter launch its own NFT collection that will enable users to buy, sell, acquire, and trade never-before-offered objects from NHL history.
While jumping on to the launches, Meta World Whale launched the NFT museum in Metaverse, which is filled with digital art exhibitions of paintings and allows users to buy digital art by redirecting users to the Opensea marketplace where the user can place bids for the art piece. Accelerate Financial Technology launched an NFT fund that will own a mix of NFT collections, including CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club, to capitalize on long-term web 3 trends.
Gaming and streaming e-sports platform Loco launched its new e-sports gaming platform called Loco Legends, allowing fans to trade e-sports collectibles and NFTs. Cappasity introduced a solution for creating NFT-based loyalty programs that helps provide solutions to turn content into 3D Digitization, Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality. Digital asset company Matrixport launched an institutional custody service for NFTs that will facilitate institutions to store and manage their digital collectibles safely while protecting them from hack and phishing attacks. Pixels launched an NFT marketplace that will empower users to buy NFTs and print them as t-shirts, puzzles, and many other merchandise products. Blockchain analytics firm Flipside Crypto launched an online Software Development Kit (SDK) called ShroomDK, which is based on NFTs and provides an automated means to pull comprehensive blockchain data via software. On the contrary, Axie Infinity game reopened transactions months after a theft of $625 million took place.
The DeFi segment was in the spotlight for various new launches last week.
Centrifuge launched a cross-chain solution to integrate the real-world asset (RWA) market with DeFi ecosystem Centrifuge Connectors to enable investors and borrowers to access liquidity from multiple DeFi protocols without the need for intermediary integrations.
Sea Horse launched a cross-chain NFT & DeFi aggregation platform to realize the general liquidity of NFT and become a global industry leader.
BEQUANT launched the DeFi platform for institutional clients in collaboration with digital asset custodian and settlement firm Fireblocks enabling clients to cross-margin across decentralized and centralized trading platforms and improve their ability to execute arbitrage opportunities.
AdaSwap launched its public testnet to unlock new opportunities for web 3 businesses on the largest Proof-of-Stake (PoS) network.
CoinFlex issued a new token, Recovery Value USD, to raise funds after its withdrawal freeze.
On the funding front, MoHash raised $6M seed funding to bring sustainable, stable yields to DeFi led by Sequoia India, Southeast Asia, and Quona Capital.
In other news, Ledger Live integrated with Alkemi Earn, a lending-borrowing protocol, to allow users securely access Alkemi Earn liquidity pools and lend/borrow ETH, WBTC, or USDC to earn interest without leaving the Ledger Live interface. DeFi protocol SLEEP, a web 3 lifestyle app, was in the news as it rewards users in tokens while learning about health and the importance of quality sleep. Voyager Digital served a notice of default to Three Arrows Capital (3AC) for failing to repay a loan worth $650M.
The Metaverse Universe seems to keep expanding, as numerous new launches, funding activities, and intriguing partnerships make the majority of the highlights.
On the funding front, metaverse event company RLTY raised over $4M in funding for metaverse event creation tools, allowing the company to provide services to clients interested in hosting metaverse events. Metaphysiks secured a $2M seed funding to accelerate the transformation and commercialization of its intellectual property into a neuro-haptic skin that allows users to bring their sensations, emotions, and cognition into the metaverse.
Walking over to the launchpad, Meta launched Meta Pay, a metaverse dedicated digital wallet to help in accessibility to digital goods and proof of ownership. Tencent launched an extended reality unit to tackle the metaverse market encompassing all metaverse-driven efforts, including hardware and software developments. Similarly, HTC launched ‘Desire 20 Pro’, a metaverse phone with a cryptocurrency wallet compatible with HTC’s Viverse ecosystem and VR headsets. SAP announced its initiative into the metaverse, designed to engage ‘digital-first audiences’ and help them on their journey into their digital transformation, enabling them to experience the full range of SAP products and offerings.
As for the partnerships, Luna Classic partnered with StarShip, through which LUNC will be implemented into the StarShip ecosystem as one form of payment within StarShip Universe, burning 1.2% of all LUNC received for these payments. Industrial giants Siemens and Nvidia came together to enable digital twins for the industrial metaverse and to enable companies to help their users to create photorealistic virtual simulations.
In other news, Ocean Outdoor presented a real-world event at DOOH screens in partnership with the creative technology crypto fashion and digital arts studio Immersive KIND and Landsec that highlighted the work of queer artists who are pioneering crypto art in the metaverse and beyond.
The DLT segment was buzzing with abundant headlines on partnerships, funding, and product launches.
Beginning with the product launches, Polygon deployed its custom blockchain scaling system ‘Avail’ on the polygon network, empowering developers to launch their blockchain applications on the main polygon chain and other blockchains. Sologenic Development Foundation announced the launch of Coreum Devnet, Transaction Explorer, Technical Paper, and a $25M grants program for developers to build dApps and expand the ecosystem. Similarly, Chainlink deployed its smart contract products to go live on Fantom mainnet, allowing developers to build more sophisticated decentralized finance applications. Keepers is a decentralized transaction automation service that enables developers to automate any smart contract function using custom triggers. Developers can set predefined conditions that Keepers continuously checks, and when those conditions are met, it will trigger the smart contract’s function. VRF, on the other hand, uses on-chain randomness that can generate fair in-game outcomes in blockchain games or randomly select governance participants for specific tasks.
When it comes to the various partnerships, VeChain Foundation announced a deal with UK inventory monetization FinTech Supply@ME (SYME) to use the VeChainThor public blockchain to tap into a different group of investors, people interested in digital assets and cryptocurrency. In other news, TraceX Technologies partnered with international non-profit TechnoServe to offer end-to-end digital blockchain traceability for coffee produced by about 3,500 farmers, helping the latter provide its partner brands the ability to analyze, track and record the journey of a coffee bean from a plant to the cup. Wire Network also launched its interoperability protocol called Universal Polymorphic Address Protocol (UPAP), which aims to enable users to have a wallet address to send and receive NFTs, perform cryptocurrency swaps, and add liquidity pairs across any blockchain.
As for the funding rounds, blockchain-based analytics company Kaiko raised $53M in a Series B funding round led by Eight Roads, enabling Kaiko to strengthen its institutional data products and infrastructure further. Similarly, layer 1 blockchain project Linera completed a $6M seed funding round led by a16z to hire engineers and team members that will allow them to deliver on their vision of bringing the performance and reliability of web 2 to the world of web 3.
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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