Blockchain This Week – STO, IEO, ETP, Clean Mining, Bitcoin Donations

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DBS Issues Digital Bond in Its First STO

Singapore-based DBS Bank issued 15 million SGD (US $11.3 million) worth of digital bonds in its first security token offering (STO). The bond, which has a six month expiry and a coupon rate of 0.60% per annum, was issued via its Digital Exchange (DDEx).

Coincheck Offers IEO

Coincheck, Inc., a Japan-based crypto exchange, announced its plans to conduct an Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) of a Japanese firm, Hashpalette Inc., in the summer of 2021. Coincheck has been working with Hashpalette since August 2020 to take its IEO dream to fruition.

Four Crypto ETPs Begin Trading in Paris and Amsterdam

The four investment firms – Wisdom Tree, VanEck, 21Shares, and the ETC Group – listed their crypto Exchange Traded Product (ETP) on the Euronext Paris and Amsterdam exchanges. WisdomTree launched its products with a total expense ratio (TER) of 0.95 percent, while VanEck listed with TER of 1 percent. Meanwhile, 21Shares has a TER of 1.49 percent, and ETC Group has 2 percent for its Bitcoin ETP and 1.49 for Ethereum one.

Standard Chartered Bank Starts Crypto Brokerage Service

Standard Chartered PLC announced this week that the bank’s innovation arm, SC Ventures, will establish a cryptocurrency brokerage and exchange platform. It will be a collaboration between SC Ventures and BC Technology Group, a Hong Kong-based digital assets investment company. 

0X API Live on Polygon

The DeFi bridge 0X has released an API that runs on the Ethereum Layer 2 scaling network, Polygon. This API aggregates liquidity information from various DeFi protocols running on Ethereum and uses the Polygon network, including QuickSwap, SushiSwap, and Dodo.

IOTA Releases IOTA 2.0 DevNet

This week, the IOTA Foundation launched the IOTA 2.0 Development Network (DevNet)  dubbed Nectar. Nectar is supposedly a research prototype for the first fully decentralized, feeless, permissionless, and secure Tangle protocol. 

Chinese Crypto Traders Pivot to OTC Platforms

Several crypto enthusiasts have increasingly been using over-the-counter (OTC) platforms to circumvent the severe crypto crackdown in China. OTC platforms allow the crypto buyers and sellers to agree on the price for crypto and hold the digital coins in escrow until fiat payments are made. The money, however, is exchanged on a separate channel entirely unrelated to the OTC firm. Hence, it is difficult for Chinese authorities to track the trade.

Daimler Hands Over Its Mobility Blockchain

Daimler Mobility AG has transferred its blockchain software license to start-up bloXmove. As a part of the licensing agreement, Daimler has awarded its proprietary Mobility Blockchain Platform to the mobility start-up. This move aims to enable the further development of the open ecosystem mobility blockchain platform.

Bitcoin for Clean Drinking Water

charity: water, a nonprofit working to bring drinking water to the developing world, has launched a charitable Bitcoin trust that will hold donations until January 2025. This charity drive was announced this week at the Miami Bitcoin conference. It has so far garnered 22.1177 Bitcoin in donations that it claims would serve clean water to over 16,560 people.

Human Rights Foundation’s $210K in Bitcoin Development Grants

The Human Rights Foundation’s Bitcoin Development Fund will allot $210,000 in its latest round for various Bitcoin development purposes. Bitcoin Core contributors Calvin Kim, Dhruv Mehta, and Abubakar Nur Kahlil will each receive $50,000, and the Lightning Network wallet teams Breez and Sphinx will get $25,000 each. Finally, the English-Arabic translator of Bitcoin content, Arabic_HODL, will receive $10,000.

Agryo’s Chainlink Node

Agryo, the global risk intelligence provider for agriculture, is launching its Chainlink oracle node to broadcast and monetize their agricultural datasets within their Hedera Hashgraph ecosystem. The data from Agryo will be cryptographically signed to prove the authenticity of the information. 

Th9 Signs a Definitive Agreement for Cleaner Mining Company

The9 Limited, a software firm, signed a definitive agreement to acquire Montcrypto Ltd., a Canadian mining company, to build a 20MW supply of electricity in Calgary, Canada. Montcrypto plans to use natural gas instead of fossil fuels as the power supply. Hence it is considered one of the greener mining businesses.

EZ Blockchain Powers its Mining with Wasted Natural Gas

EZ Blockchain has partnered with Texas-based Oil Provider Silver Energy to set up mining operations at sites belonging to Silver Energy’s clients. With this setting, EZ Blockchain uses the natural gas emitted during oil drilling exercises to power its mining units. The first such mining site operating in Alberta, Canada, has consumed around 1 MW of power processed from 250 MCFd of stranded natural gas.

China Expands Its CBDC Trial

This week, the Chinese city Changsha distributed free digital yuan to its citizens as a part of the ongoing CBDC trials. Meanwhile, another round of lottery is slated for June 5-6 in Beijing, where free wallets totaling over $6 million worth of digital currency will be issued.

Indian Central Bank’s Clarification on Crypto

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has advised the country’s banks not to cite the RBI circular on banking ban while dealing with crypto. The central bank says that the advisory is void since the circular was set aside by the Supreme Court of India. 

UK Bank Bans Crypto Transactions

The UK-based Starling Bank confirmed that it has temporarily stopped its customers from engaging with crypto exchanges via their bank accounts. The bank said it had taken this step due to concerns about high levels of suspected financial crime with such payments. It intends to add more checks before reversing the decision.

Argentina Attracting Crypto Miners

Several crypto miners, including mining firms such as Bitfarms, are increasing their engagement in Argentina. The generous electricity subsidies and hyperinflation in the country are making Bitcoin mining a lucrative business.

Hamas Sees a Surge in Bitcoin Donations

Hamas, a Palestinian group considered as a terrorist organization by several countries, including the US and the UK, has recently seen a surge in crypto donations, according to a senior Hamas official. This deluge of online funding that started since its armed conflict with Israel last month has enabled Hamas to circumvent international sanctions to fund its military operations.

Coinbase Introduces Retail Trading of Dogecoin

Coinbase retail users would now be able to buy, sell, and hold Dogecoin on the exchange. Coinbase is also running a $1.2 million Dogecoin giveaway promotion for those who purchase $100 worth of Dogecoin. Furthermore, it announced that the meme-coin would be added to its professional trading platform, Coinbase Pro.

Ripple’s Yet Another Victory Over SEC

The US Securities and Exchange Commission had filed a motion with the District Court for the Southern District of New York last month to gain access to memos discussing XRP sales with Ripple’s lawyers. The court, however, denied the motion this week. The SEC suspects that the legal advisors of Ripple would have informed the crypto firm that XRP could be a security since its token sales back in 2013. This win resulted in XRP catapulting over 12 percent and reaching $1 earlier this week.

Yet Another DeFi Protocol Exploited

DeFi protocol running on Binance Smart Chain, Belt Finance, became the latest casualty of the intricate flash loan attacks. This week, the protocol lost over $6.3 million when an attacker exploited a flaw in the way its vaults calculate the value of its collateral.

Sotheby’s Opens Virtual Gallery in Decentraland

Sotheby’s, one of the oldest British auction houses, is launching a digital equivalent of its London New Bond Street Galleries on the Decentraland platform. This virtual gallery is located in Voltaire Art District and has map coordinates 52,83.

Norton Enables Crypto Mining

This week, NortonLifeLock revealed a new feature called Norton Crypto. Select Norton 360 customers can join its early adopter program for mining Ether. Norton Crypto will enable adding the computation power of the user’s computer to be used for low volume crypto mining.

Coinbase and Kraken Invest in User Engagement

Coinbase announced this week that its users can now use the Coinbase Debit card with Apple and Google Pay wallets. Coinbase is inviting US customers off the waitlist who can earn 4 percent back in crypto rewards whenever they use the card for shopping.

Meanwhile, another crypto exchange, Kraken, has launched a new mobile app for US retail traders. The app, available for both Android and iOS, is designed for a crypto trading novice.

Olympics and NFT

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), organizer of the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, and video game developer nWay have teamed up to launch a collection of NFTs representing collectible Olympic pins. Olympic pins started as a way to identify athletes, judges, and officials and are cherished by players and spectators alike. 

MLB and NFT

Major League Baseball (MLB) became the latest sports organization to step into the NFT space. This week, it established a long-term partnership with Candy Digital, a sports NFT company. Through this deal, MLB plans to launch an NFT honoring the New York Yankee first baseman, Lou Gehrig. This NFT will represent Gehrig’s iconic “Luckiest Man” speech delivered on July 4, 1939, at Yankee Stadium, after being diagnosed with ALS.

And Finally, a Statue for Satoshi Nakamoto

Several Bitcoin groups are collaborating on a project initiated by András Györfi that plans to erect a bronze bust of the anonymous creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, in Budapest, Hungary. The statue, designed by two sculptors, Réka Gergely and Tamás Gilly, will depict a hooded figure with a reflective surface as the face.

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