Blockchain This Week – Robinhood, Crypto Recovery, Bitcoin and Twitter’s Future, Bitcoin-Backed Loans, Coca Cola’s Friendship Day NFTs

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Robinhood’s IPO

Robinhood, a fee-free cryptocurrency and stock investing platform, raised close to $2 billion in its initial public offering this Thursday and reached a valuation of $32 billion. It, however, ended its first day as a public company 8.4% below its initial public offering price. The shares, which opened at the $38 offer price, closed at $34.82. As a result, its valuation fell short of its goal of $35 billion.

Meanwhile, investment firm ARK fund, which typically invests in tech stocks, bought 1.3 million Robinhood shares.

Tesla Reports Bitcoin Impairment Loss

Elon Musk owned Tesla’s latest earnings report shows that the EV company holds bitcoin worth $1.311 billion. Tesla did not buy or sell any bitcoin during the second quarter but recorded a bitcoin-related impairment of $23 million. Impairment in layman terms means the current market value of an asset (in this case, Bitcoin) is less than the amount at which Tesla bought the crypto.

Bitcoin, Ether Recover

Weeks after entering bearish markets, Bitcoin recorded a recovery this week when its price crossed $40K, the first time since June this year. At the time of writing, one Bitcoin was worth $41,830.26. Similarly, Ether hit a three-week high earlier this week when its price reached $2,391. It was a jump of 8.2% in 24 hours and 22.9% in 7 days. At the time of writing, one Ether was $2,461.06.

Bitcoin Is a “Big Part of Our Future” – Dorsey

In Twitter’s Q2 earnings call, its CEO, Jack Dorsey, reiterated his internet native currency idea that he floated in last week’s B-Word conference. He emphasized that having a native currency for the Internet, as in Bitcoin, several features such as Super Follows and Tip Jar can be rolled out frictionlessly to Twitter users. He underscored how Bitcoin is vital to Twitter and its shareholders as Twitter plans to continue to look at the space and invest aggressively in it. 

CZ Hints at Hiring His Replacement

Amid the increasing conflicts with regulatory agencies across the globe, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) revealed that he is possibly looking for his replacement. At a virtual summit, he stated that he is searching for a senior person with a strong compliance background to lead the entire organization and perhaps become the new Binance CEO.

Greenidge Mining to Build Solar Farm On Top Of Coal Ash Landfill

The bitcoin mining company Greenidge revealed this week that it plans to close off a coal ash landfill that it purchased in 2014 to construct a new solar farm. It also stated that it is purchasing voluntary carbon offsets from U.S. greenhouse gas reduction projects. 

Glen Oaks Escrow Facilitates Bitcoin-Backed Loan

Glen Oaks Escrow, one of the largest independent escrow companies in California, revealed that this week, for the first time, it facilitated a refinancing, where the buyer used Bitcoin as loan collateral. The escrow firm has been accepting Bitcoin as payment since 2018, but it was the first time when the lender used Bitcoin as the source of funds for the loan.

Binance and FTX Limit Leverage Trading

FTX and Binance, two of the crypto industry’s largest exchanges, have put a cap on the amount of leverage that the users can trade with to a maximum of 20x. According to FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), it is the direction that the industry is headed. Meanwhile, as per Binance CEO CZ, the interest in consumer protection led Binance to make this move.

Mastercard Accelerator Program for Startups

This week, Mastercard announced a new Start Path global startup engagement program. The initiative will support fast-growing startups in the digital assets, Blockchain, and cryptocurrency space. Seven companies – GK8, Domain Money, Mintable, SupraOracles, STACS, Taurus, and Uphold –  have joined the program.

Kazakh Banks to Offer Services to Crypto Firms

Kazakhstan’s National Association of Blockchain and Data Center Industry announced this week that the country’s banks would offer banking services to the crypto exchanges. Those exchanges registered at the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) can make use of these services.

Binance Launches Tax Reporting Tool

The crypto exchange Binance launched a tax reporting API tool on both its website and app to enable Binance users to keep track of their crypto activities. The tax reporting tool allows users to transfer user transaction history and records of capital gains and losses on Binance to third-party tax vendor tools. It also gives them a real-time overview of their local tax liabilities by integrating third-party tax vendor tools.

Tax-Free Bitcoin Mining

The US clients of Compass Mining can avoid tax on the bitcoin they mine by buying mining hardware through their individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Compass has partnered with Choice IRA, a crypto-friendly retirement offering to enable its clients to mine crypto without triggering a taxable event.

USMS Chooses Anchorage

The US Marshals Service (USMS), a part of the Department of Justice, will use Anchorage Digital for the custody of its seized digital assets. Anchorage announced that USMS chose its custodial services after a year long bidding process.

US Bill Seeks to Raise $28 Billion With Crypto

According to a draft copy of a bipartisan infrastructure bill obtained by CoinDesk news outlet, the US Congress seeks to raise $28 billion from crypto investors. As per the bill, any broker that transfers digital assets would need to file a return under a modified information reporting regime. Crypto is also added to the rules that require businesses to report cash payments over $10,000.

Israel’s Law Proposes Reporting Crypto Holdings

Similarly, Israel’s Ministry of Finance published a draft bill that requires investors to report crypto holdings exceeding 200,000 new Israeli shekels (close to $61,000) to tax authorities. It is included in the draft of the Arrangements Law, which proposes amendments to the country’s economic policy.

Kaseya’s Decryption Tool for Ransomware Victims

IT solutions provider, Kaseya in partnership with cybersecurity firm Emsisoft, is providing its clients with a decryption tool to recover their data that were encrypted in a ransomware attack on July 2. Kaseya claims that its mysterious “decryptor” tool has proven 100% effective. 

Bug in Monero’s Code

A bug deemed “significant” that has the potential to expose users’ transactions has been spotted in Monero, a cryptocurrency that’s known for its privacy. In a series of tweets, the Monero team explained that a bug was identified in Monero’s decoy selection algorithm. It affects when users spend their coins within 20 minutes of receiving them.

Charity Fund Sues Binance

Malta Community Chest Fund, a charity headed by Malta’s president, George Vella, is suing Binance. It claims Binance Foundation never handed out the donations pledged in 2018. The vowed money is today worth over $8 million, according to the charity.

Dexlab Releases No Code Token Platform

Decentralized exchange Dexlab launched MintingLab, a Solana-based platform to mint tokens that does not require any coding knowledge. According to Dexlab, MintingLab will lower the barrier for entry as people can issue and manage FTs and NFTs “with a few clicks.”

Yahoo! Japan and Line Team Up for NFTs

Japanese internet company Yahoo! Japan and messaging giant Line have teamed up to enable trading of NFTs issued on Line’s Blockchain. As per the agreement, Yahoo! Japan would place Line’s NFTs on its online auction service Yahoo! Auctions.

Merchants Can Sell NFTs on Shopify

Harley Finkelstein, the president of Shopify, the e-commerce platform for sellers to host their online stores, announced that his company is now allowing merchants on its platform to sell NFTs directly to customers. As per Finkelstein, until now, the merchants on Shopify had to sell their NFTs through third-party marketplaces, and hence had less control over sales. He said, now Shopify is “​​putting the power back into the hands of merchants and meeting customers how and where they want to buy.”

And Finally, Coca Cola Commemorates Friendship with NFTs

Coca Cola has launched its first digital collectibles that are inspired by shared moments of friendship. These NFTs, currently being auctioned on OpenSea marketplace, are created in partnership with 3D content developer Tafi and celebrate the spirit of International Friendship Day. It is a four piece collection featuring multi-sensory NFTs housed inside a Friendship Box. All proceeds from the sale will go to Special Olympics International.

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