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Blockchain This Week – Ether Gains, Blockchain Land Titles, Dogefather

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EIB Issues First Ever Digital Bond on Blockchain

This week, the European Investment Bank (EIB) launched a 100 million Euro, two-year, digital bond issued on the Ethereum platform. Registration and settlement of the bond will happen on Blockchain. EIB is partnering with Banque de France, Goldman Sachs, Santander, and Société Générale.

Ether Continues to Soar

The second largest cryptocurrency by market share, Ether, reached another milestone this week. The price topped at $2,801.34 on Thursday. The European Investment Bank’s announcement of its first digital bond on the Ethereum network has supposedly resulted in this latest rise in the crypto value.

Turkey’s U-Turn on Crypto Ban

Weeks after hardening their stance on banning crypto transactions, Turkey seems to be balking on the decision now. Turkey’s central bank governor Şahap Kavacıoğlu said on the state channel TRT that there is nothing that can be fixed by banning crypto. Instead, he hinted that in two weeks, the central bank would clarify the legal definition of crypto and specify how financial institutions should deal with it.

Medici and Paperless Land Transforms Using Blockchain

Medici Land Governance (MLG) is partnering with the Rwanda Land Management and Use Authority (RLMUA) and Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA) for a pilot project in the Gasabo District of Rwanda. As a part of the trial, MLG plans to make voluntary land transfers paperless using Blockchain and Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).

Meanwhile, it has also signed a seven-year deal with the Zambian Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for a land titling project. This project will include the issuance of 4 million Certificates of Titles (COTs) in the seven years, followed by another 3.5 million in the three years after.

Buterin’s Crypto Contribution to India’s COVID Relief

Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin has donated 100 Ether and 100 Maker cryptocurrencies amounting to $220,000 and $400,000 respectively to a COVID-19 relief fund for India. Buterin contributed to a fund set up by the crypto custody platform, Gnosis Safe.

NFL Player to Convert His Salary to Bitcoin

The American National Football League (NFL) team Kansas City Chiefs player Sean Culkin will convert his entire base salary of 2021 – $920,000 – to Bitcoin. As per the contract with the Chiefs, Culkin will still be paid in dollars. Culkin has chosen Strike, a fiat-to-bitcoin conversion service from the Zap Blockchain network, to exchange fiat for Bitcoin.

Eminem Launches His First NFT

Rapper Eminem is the latest in the list of celebrities ensnared by NFTs. He has partnered with Nifty Gateway to unveil his first NFT this week at Shady Con.

Tether’s Market Cap Exceeds $50 Billion

The market cap of the world’s largest stablecoin, Tether, has surpassed $50 billion earlier this week. It is now bigger than all the other stablecoins combined. Tether, whose market value rose by $29 billion since January, received a significant boost when Coinbase announced that it would allow “inbound transfers” for the stablecoin on its platform.

Binance Continues to Tokenize Stocks

The crypto exchange, Binance, started a new service of tokenizing stocks of some of the largest companies, starting with Tesla. Now it is adding stocks of more companies. Earlier this week, Binance announced that it would list shares of MicroStrategy, Apple, and Microsoft. The tokens are reportedly linked with BUSD.

Gaming Company Behind Sonic the Hedgehog to Sell NFTs

The Japanese gaming company, the creator of the popular video game Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega Sammy, announced this week that it would commence selling NFTs in 2021. The NFTs are reportedly related to Sega’s “classic IP.” Sega has partnered with Blockchain games startup double jump.tokyo.

First NBA Team to Issue NFTs

NBA team Golden State Warriors are the first professional basketball team to sell NFTs. The auction includes digital ticket stubs and championship rings and will close on May 1.

Helium’s 5G Network

Helium Blockchain, described as the people’s network, is launching a 5G version of its network. Helium rewards its consumers and small businesses with tokens to build their own mini cellular towers. It is partnering with FreedomFi Gateway for this 5G initiative.

Gemini to Launch Crypto Credit Card With Mastercard

The crypto exchange, Gemini, has teamed with Mastercard to launch a crypto rewards credit card shortly. The cardholders will have an option to transfer their crypto rewards into Gemini Earn, a program that enables them to earn interest. The card, however, will be available to US customers.

Binance to Launch NFT Platform

Crypto exchange Binance announced this week that it plans to launch an NFT marketplace in June. The platform will mainly run on Binance Smart Chain and supplemented by the Ethereum network. Creators and collectors of visual artwork, music, and more would benefit from this marketplace, as per the announcement.

WisdomTree’s ETP Listed on Stock Exchanges

WisdomTree, ETF sponsor and asset manager, has launched an Ether Exchange Product on two European exchanges. Both Borse Xetra and Swiss stock exchange SIX have listed the ETP. With this product, investors can get exposure to Ether without having to hold the cryptocurrency directly.

Beijing to Probe Energy Consumption by Crypto Operations

Beijing’s Municipal Bureau of Economy and Information Technology sent out an emergency notice to the city’s data centers this week. Accordingly, the data centers have to report the power consumption in their crypto mining operations.  

Iran to Allow Banks to Use Crypto

The central bank of Iran has reportedly informed the country’s financial institutions to use crypto to pay for imports. The cryptocurrencies, however, have to be mined by only the sanctioned miners. This amends to the regulatory framework is supposedly Iran’s way to circumvent US economic sanctions.

Ethiopia to Use Blockchain for Tracking Student Records

Getahun Mekuria, Ethiopia’s Minister of Education, revealed the ministry’s partnership with IOHK, the company behind Cardano Blockchain. The country’s education department will use the Cardano platform to track student records. The project is still in its early stages and might be live next year.

Uranium Gets Hacked

Uranium Finance, a Binance Smart Chain-based DeFi project, was exploited this week. The exploit resulted in a loss of about $50 million worth of crypto. Uranium stated that the attack happened during the process of its token migration to a new v2.1 version. Several tokens, including bitcoin, ether, BUSD, and Uranium’s native U92, were stolen. Further disturbing information has emerged from the hack. According to a member of the developer team suspect that the hack might have been an insider job.

Former Bithumb Chairman Handed Over to Authorities

In September 2020, officials raided the Seoul headquarters of Bithumb about a $25 million token sale and their planned acquisition by Singapore-based BTHMB. Lee Jung-hoon, the chairman of Bithumb at that time, was called by the authorities for questioning. Now, after seven months, he has been handed over to the country’s Supreme Prosecutors Office. The prosecutors in South Korea have the authority to call in people for questioning and mobilize the policy. 

Nigerian Hotel to Accept Bitcoin

George Residence, a luxury hotel in Nigeria, is planning to accept Bitcoin as payment. It will use the services of Coinvest Africa, a regional cryptocurrency brokerage, to facilitate the payments. The hotel also intends to keep 50 percent of its cash reserve in Bitcoin.

Malaysian Delivery Firm to Use Blockchain

Bungkusit, Malaysia’s fourth-largest delivery app, is using blockchain technology to provide transparency and thereby resolve customer disputes faster. It teamed up with VeriDoc Global, a Blockchain platform, who helped Bungkusit set up the solution in three to four weeks.

J.P. Morgan, DBS, and Temasek Join Hands

Global banks DBS and J.P. Morgan are partnering with Temasek Holdings, a state-owned company that manages an investment fund on behalf of the Government of Singapore. They are collaborating to create a Blockchain-based platform, Partior. Partior aims to develop a wholesale payment system that allows instantaneous settlements among the financial institutions on the network.

Deutsche Börse and Commerzbank Collaborate for Real Estate and Art Tokenization 

German financial institutions Commerzbank, Deutsche Börse are working together to tokenize real estate and artwork. They will team up with fintech firm 360X to build a digital asset marketplace. The first trial transaction for each tokenized asset class is planned for later this year.

Fidelity Launches Crypto Analytics Platform

The asset management company Fidelity Investments announced a digital assets analytics solution, Sherlock, targeting institutional investors and fund managers. Sherlock will collect data from multiple sources that the investors can access on a single portal.

Coinbase Allows Pay by PayPal

Crypto exchange Coinbase is now allowing its US users to buy crypto with their PayPal accounts. Users can buy up to $25,000 worth of crypto daily, but they are expected to pay a hefty 4 percent transaction fee to PayPal.

Ethereum and Tezos Linked

Bender Labs, a distributed ledger company, has launched Wrap Protocol this week. Using this protocol, Ethereum-based ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens can work on Tezos Blockchain.

Opera and Unstoppable Domains

Opera has added support to Unstoppable Domains to its iOS and desktop browsers. It means that now users of the Opera browser can access websites hosted on decentralized IPFS servers using Unstoppable Domains’ .crypto addresses on any operating system – Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android.

Comic Artist to Launch Batman NFTs

Comic book artist Neal Adams is launching a series of nine NFTs featuring superheroes Batman, Robin, and Deadman. This move comes despite the warning from DC Comics prohibiting artists from using its intellectual property. Adams, however, claims to have had a “pleasant” conversation with DC Comics, who reportedly have asked for “more time to assess the situation.”

Disaster Girl’s $500,000 Worth Meme

Zoë Roth, the girl in the “Disaster Girl” image of 2005 that became a viral meme, is not capitalizing on the popularity of the photograph. She sold an NFT of the image at an online auction. 3FMusic, the user who purchased the NFT, paid 180 Ether that is equivalent to $511,988.40 at the time of writing.

Russian Space Agency Uses Blockchain

The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, is using Blockchain tech to fight IP infringement in the space industry. It is testing an IP protection solution developed by the Waves Enterprise Blockchain platform. Using this technology, Roscosmos will monitor a database of IP records and coordinate with lawyers and auditors.

And Finally, Dogefather Takes Doge to the Moon

The self-proclaimed technoking of Tesla gave himself another title this week – Dogefather. In a promotional tweet for his appearance in the popular US show Saturday Night Live (SNL), Musk made this announcement. As always, Musk’s tweet led to a crypto frenzy. Dogecoin shot up by 32 percent on Wednesday this week. Meanwhile, the billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban touted Dogecoin in the “Ellen” show, where he hailed it as “better than a lottery ticket.”

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