Blockchain This Week – Green Blockchain Deals, Governments and Crypto, Crypto Rollercoaster

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Singapore Finance Giants Launch Carbon Credits Exchange

Singapore’s DBS Bank, Singapore Exchange, Standard Chartered, and Temasek unveiled a joint venture, Climate Impact X (CIX). CIX, headquartered in Singapore, is a global exchange and marketplace to trade carbon credits. It plans to use satellite imagery, AI, and Blockchain to track the performance of the environment projects behind the carbon credits, thereby improving the credibility of these credits.

SUKU’s Environment-Friendly NFT Marketplace

SUKU, a Blockchain-based ecosystem that offers Supply Chain as a Service, launched INFINITE, an eco-friendly NFT marketplace, this week. This platform runs on the proof of stake based Hedera Hashgraph instead of resource-intensive Ethereum Blockchain. Furthermore, SUKU has partnered with carbon calculator engine provider Carbon Analytics and carbon credits platform Moss.Earth. Together, they support retail brands, track their carbon emissions and enable customers to offset the carbon footprint of their purchases with carbon credits. These credits help fund real world environment protection projects. The INFINITE platform features the NFTs of four time Grammy nominee Jeezy, John Lennon’s former partner and artist May Pang, and sneaker designer Dan Gamache.

Crypto Exchanges Pledge to Become Carbon Neutral

In the light of the recent debates on Bitcoin mining’s energy consumption, crypto exchanges FTX and BitMEX have pledged to become carbon neutral. BitMEX is donating $0.0026 for every dollar spent on transaction fees to carbon-offsetting organizations. Meanwhile, FTX plans to donate $1 million to such organizations this year.

Bank of America Joins Paxos

Bank of America Corp. (BoA) joined the Blockchain-based trade settlement network of Paxos Trust Co. Consequently, Bank of America would be leveraging Blockchain to settle stock trades in minutes instead of days using traditional means. BoA follows Credit Suisse Group AG and Nomura Holdings Inc.’s Instinet, who had previously joined the Paxos network.

Chainlink Joins Hedera Hashgraph

The Blockchain oracle service provider, Chainlink, has joined the governing council enterprise focused Distributed Ledger Tech firm Hedera Hashgraph. Chainlink is the 21st member of the planned 39 member council. This partnership is expected to result in Chainlink integration with Hedera Token Service, Hedera’s tokenization platform.

Cobalt Tracing on Blockchain

Metals and mining giants Glencore, China Molybdenum Co, and Eurasian Resources Group are collaborating on a new Blockchain-based traceability pilot for cobalt. Customers can use the Re-source solution to understand where the cobalt used in their product comes from. The trial is planned to complete by December 2021.

MineHub Joins Contour

The Blockchain-based global trade finance network, Contour, has teamed up with Blockchain-powered mining supply chain, MineHub. As a result, mining companies can connect with the network of 19 banks for faster access to trade finance. Transactions from MineHub, which runs on Hyperledger Fabric, will flow into Contour’s network that uses R3’s Corda via APIs.

Commerzbank On Blockchain-based Supply Chain Payments Initiative

Commerzbank, a leading international private bank, announced that it is working with chemicals firms BASF and Evonik on a Blockchain initiative. BASF and Evonik frequently trade with each other, and along with Commerzbank, their payments facilitator, are tracking and verifying their supply chain payments on Blockchain using smart contracts.

Agri Blockchain Consortium’s Steady Growth

The agribusiness trading consortium Covantis has grown to 18 firms. This Blockchain platform that went live in February enables shippers and traders of corn and soybeans to collaborate better. The network reportedly has over 500 users and executes most of the corn and soybean cargos exported from Brazil.

Egypt’s Largest Bank On Ripple

National Bank of Egypt (NBE) plans to leverage blockchain technology from Ripple to set up a remittance corridor with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It will work with LuLu International Exchange to enable Egyptian expats in UAE to send money to their family in Egypt swiftly over the Ripple network.

Interagency Crypto Policy Team

Acting Comptroller of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Michael Hsu, informed the House Financial Services Committee of the US Congress about forming an interagency “sprint team.” Accordingly, OCC, the Federal Reserve, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) are mulling over setting up a joint policy team. It will explore the crypto sector and think through the crypto definitions and applications.

Russian Election Candidates to Declare Crypto Holdings

Russia’s State Duma has approved the first draft of the bill that would require election candidates to declare their crypto holdings and purchases for the past three years. The proposed legislation also applies to the candidates’ spouses and minor children. The bill that passed its first reading must go through two more before being presented to the Federation Council.

India Might Form a Panel to Study Crypto 

India’s central government may form a committee of experts to study the possible ways to regulate cryptocurrency in India. The panel is also expected to explore Blockchain for technological advancements.

Iran Continues Crypto Mining Crackdown

Iran’s energy ministry announced that crypto miners who use household electricity for running mining operations would have to pay heavy fines. Moreover, they will have to pay for damages caused to the electricity network. Iran’s hydro powered electricity supply is under strain due to reduced rainfall.

Inner Mongolia’s Hotline to Report Crypto Mining

Officials in the Inner Mongolian Autonomous region have informed the citizens that they now have a hotline to report any crypto mining operations in their area. Inner Mongolia has felt the ire of the Chinese authorities, who have repeatedly condemned the use of fossil fuels such as coal to power the mining operations in the region.

China Bans Crypto Services

China declared a ban on providing any form of crypto services by the country’s financial institutions. It also warned the investors against speculative crypto trading. It has also prohibited crypto exchanges and initial coin offerings in the country.

Tezos Partners With Red Bull Racing Honda

Formula one racing team Red Bull Honda has selected Tezos as its multi-year official Blockchain partner. It plans to launch Formula One NFTs on Tezos Blockchain.

Greenpeace Joins the Bitcoin vs Environment Club

An environmental activist NGO, Greenpeace USA, announced this week that it has stopped accepting donations in the form of Bitcoin. The organization stated that it is scrapping this facility as the amount of energy required to run Bitcoin is untenable.

Chinese Mining Company Invests in Texas

China-based Bitcoin mining firm, BIT Mining Limited, has signed an agreement with Dory Creek, a subsidiary of ASIC manufacturer Bitdeer, to build a mining farm in Texas, USA. It plans to invest over $25 million in the facility and will operate along with Dory Creek. 

Pancake Bunny Tanks Following a Flash Loan Attack

Pancake Bunny, a DeFi protocol running on Binance Smart Chain, was a victim of a flash loan attack that resulted in a loss of over $200 million worth of crypto assets. The price of Bunny fell sharply by 90 percent from $240 to nearly $25 within 24 hours of the attack. Bunny Finance confirmed that no vaults were compromised and delineated a plan to compensate the holders of Bunny coins who lost their money due to tanked prices.

BlockFi’s Promotional Scheme Goof Up

The crypto firm BlockFi mistakenly sent massive rewards to some of its users in its March promotional offer. One user reportedly received an astounding 701.4 Bitcoin worth over $35 million when issued. Furthermore, in a hasty attempt to recover the losses, BlockFi allegedly sent threatening emails asking even those users who conducted legitimate trade during the promotional period to return the crypto added to their accounts.

And Finally, Bitcoin’s Steep Fall and Its Hobble Towards Recovery

Ever since Musk announced his plans to stop Bitcoin payments for Tesla, the premier crypto has seen a significant drop in its price. It had already dropped to below $50K at the beginning of this week. But, China’s crypto service ban and seemingly temporary retreat of the institutional investors further pushed the price down. Consequently, Bitcoin briefly touched nearly $30,000 mid-week. It has, however, recovered since and at the time of writing, was worth $36,345.05

As a result of the crash, close to $350 billion was eroded from the crypto markets. Ironically, Tesla lost all the profits it made due to the rise in the Bitcoin price since it started holding the cryptocurrency earlier this year. 

Moreover, several crypto exchanges, including Coinbase, Gemini, and CoinMarketCap, were either inaccessible or reported degraded performance due to excessive activity resulting from the market volatility. Similarly, Chicago Mercantile Exchange halted bitcoin futures trading amid crashing crypto prices.Amid all the Bitcoin doom and gloom, one firm is sticking to its plan of hoarding Bitcoin. The business intelligence firm, MicroStrategy, led by CEO Michael Saylor, has bought an additional 229 BTC worth $10 million at the time of purchase.

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